Check out this great video that was produced by Nicholas de Monchaux, Assistant Professor of Architecture here at UC Berkeley! Nicholas and his team have been working with the GIF over the last two years to explore the connections between geospatial technology and archtectural design, and to train architecture students in GIS applications.
This video does a great job of highlighting the innovative approach they are taking. It is a finalist in the WPA 2.0 competition sponsored by UCLA Citylab.
Their project description:
Local Code : Real Estates uses geospatial analysis to identify thousands of publicly owned abandoned sites in major US cities, imagining this distributed, vacant landscape as a new urban system. Using parametric design, a landscape proposal for each site is tailored to local conditions, optimizing thermal and hydrological performance to enhance the whole city’s ecology—and relieving burdens on existing infrastructure. Local Code’s quantifiable effects on energy usage and stormwater remediation eradicate the need for more expensive, yet invisible, sewer and electrical upgrades. In addition, the project uses citizen participation to conceive a new, more public infrastructure as well —a robust network of urban greenways with tangible benefits to the health and safety of every citizen.